From JAMA Network:
Recently developed protocols expressly call for the rationing and reallocation of ventilators, in a manner that aims to save the greatest number of lives. These protocols are broadly accepted by medical ethicists. But ethics aside, there are potential legal ramifications of either withholding or withdrawing a ventilator from a patient who would ordinarily receive such aid in the absence of a public health emergency.
In this Viewpoint, we assess the legal risks that physicians, other health care workers, and hospital systems confront in such scenarios and recommend that states explicitly and immediately adopt legal protections for health care workers, modeled on provisions in place in Maryland.
Physicians worry about our patients, but we also have to worry about gettin sued.
Steve Parker, M.D.